Despite low unemployment, many still struggle to find work in Ko - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Despite low unemployment, many still struggle to find work in Kootenai County

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The Idaho Department of Labor will hold a job fair Wednesday, Dec. 10. The Idaho Department of Labor will hold a job fair Wednesday, Dec. 10.
POST FALLS, Idaho -

"There are a lot of people hiring, I'm just looking to jump on the employment train," says Kelly Truitt as he prints of job applications and resumes at the Idaho Department of Labor office in Post Falls.

There are more than 1,700 available job openings throughout Kootenai County, but Truitt has been looking for work for the last three weeks. In that time, he's applied for more than 15 different jobs, and was only interviewed for two of them. "Trying to find something that's hiring full time, it's hard to get a full time job in the winter time," says Truitt. "It's a lot of just, 20 hours here, 30 hours there. I need something full time."

Truitt's plan is to attend the December job fair at the Department of Labor. The department hosts job fairs every month, this month more than 20 employers will be in attendance hoping to find skilled workers.

"There will be several hundred opportunities," says Stacey Hanlon with the Department of Labor. "Some of the employers will have as few as one or two, others will have hundreds."

Hanlon says Kootenai County is in an interesting position. The county's unemployment rate sits at 3.9 percent compared to the state's 4.1 percent, these low numbers sound great, but they spell chaos for employers looking for workers.

"We're in a shortage of workers right now," Hanlon says. "The unemployment rate is really low, and employers are struggling to find skilled workers."

Glenn Gatherer, the owner of Nate's New York Pizza in Post Falls, is one of those struggling employers. Gatherer was planning on attending the job fair, telling KHQ he needs at least four new employees, but his lack of staff is preventing him from attending.

"I just have almost no counter help. So, I can't just leave and interview people because there's no one to help cover the restaurant," says Gatherer.

Hanlon says the low unemployment rate is partially thanks to seasonal work that typically comes during the holidays.

For those interested in attending the job fair it will be held Wednesday, Dec. 10. at the Idaho Department of Labor in Post Falls at 600 North Thornton St between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Hanlon says those interested in finding a job should come dressed and prepared for an interview.

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